Dan Snow

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Dan Snow
Born Daniel Robert Snow
(1978-12-03) 3 December 1978 (age 36)
London, England, UK
Residence London, England
Nationality British
Education Modern History
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Broadcaster
Religion None
Spouse(s) Edwina Grosvenor (m. 2010)
Children 2
Parent(s) Peter Snow
Ann MacMillan

Daniel Robert "Dan" Snow (born 3 December 1978) is a British television presenter. He has presented many history programmes for the BBC and other broadcasters and has a regular history slot on The One Show.[1]

Early life and background[edit]

Dan Snow is the youngest son of Peter Snow, BBC television journalist, and Canadian Ann MacMillan, managing editor of CBC's London Bureau. Dan therefore has dual British-Canadian citizenship. Through his mother, he is the nephew of Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan, and a great-great-grandson of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.[2] One of his father's cousins is the Channel 4 news reporter Jon Snow. His paternal great-grandfather (Jon and Peter's grandfather) is World War I general Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow.


Snow was educated in London at Westfield Primary School now Barnes primary and at St Paul's School where he was captain of the school and rowed for his school team. He went on to Balliol College, Oxford,[3] his father's alma mater, and graduated with first-class honours in Modern History.[2][4] A keen rower since his secondary school days, he won the U-23 men's division at the 2000 British Indoor Rowing Championships[5] and rowed three times in the Boat Race, winning in 2000 and losing the controversial 2001 race as president.[6][7]


Snow presented his first programme in October 2002 just after graduating from university, co-presenting the BBC's 60th anniversary special on the Battles of El Alamein with his father Peter.[8] Father and son then collaborated to present an 8-part documentary series called Battlefield Britain, which aired in 2004 and won a BAFTA Craft Award for special effects. The same year Snow won a Sony award as one of the presenters on the LBC Boat Race coverage.

He has made numerous history programmes for the BBC. He also presents on many of the state occasions such as the 200th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Trafalgar, Beating Retreat 2006, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the 90th anniversary of the Armistice in November 2008, Trooping the Colour and the City Salute. Snow again collaborated with his father to present BBC 2's 20th Century Battlefields and its print edition, which were both well received.[9] The series covers battles all around the world and is presented in similar fashion to the first Battlefield Britain which was broadcast in various markets in 2006 and is available on DVD. The second series can also be viewed on the Military Channel.

In June 2008, Snow was in a three-part series called Britain's Lost World on BBC One. Along with Kate Humble and Steve Backshall, he stayed on the island of St Kilda, Scotland, to find out more about its history and wildlife. In the television programme My Family at War he explored the role of his great-grandfather Thomas D'Oyly Snow, who commanded the VII Corps on the first day on the Somme in World War I.

In November 2011 Snow teamed up with the Irish Army to fire a British or Canadian made Browning Mark II (or a Mk. II* variant) .303" machinegun which he had excavated from a Spitfire that had crashed in Donegal while being flown by Bud Wolfe. Despite being in a peat bog for 70 years the machine gun fired without a hitch after careful cleaning and with fresh ammunition.[10]

On 8 December 2012, Snow co-presented Rome's Lost Empire with Dr. Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist from University of Alabama at Birmingham (U.A.B.).

In late 2012 Snow embarked on a promotional tour for his new book Battle Castles: 500 Years of Knights and Siege Warfare,[11] which was published in conjunction with a 6-part documentary he had presented for the History Channel. In early 2013, he presented a programme on the history of railways on BBC Two, called "Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways".

In the summer of 2013 Snow was part of a team with eight others down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in period-correct boats recreating the epic trip by John Wesley Powell through uncharted territory and rapids in 1869. Other British team members accompanied by American experts were Mike Dilger and Sam Willis. The footage, narrated by Dougray Scott, became Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow which was broadcast on BBC Two in January 2014.

Snow has also travelled to warzones in Congo and Syria to make programmes about the historical context of those conflicts. These were shown on BBC2 in 2013. Snow has released award winning apps, the Timeline series, which include the Number 1 selling Reference app, TimelineWW2. He attracted criticism for saying in 2012 that ‘apps are simply a better vehicle than books’.

Personal life[edit]

On 27 November 2010, Snow married criminologist and philanthropist Lady Edwina Grosvenor, the second daughter of the 6th Duke of Westminster.[12] Their daughter was born in 2011 and their son in 2014.

On 18 April 2010 Snow and a few friends took three rigid-hulled inflatable boats from Dover to Calais to help people return to Britain after they were stranded in France by the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland. When they arrived at Calais they were told by the French authorities to "fous le camp" ("get lost"). He did manage to get 25 people back but was unable to return for more.[13][not in citation given]

In August 2011, Snow chased a group of rioters through Notting Hill in London before tackling and performing a citizen’s arrest on a looter who was running out of a shoe shop.[14][15]

Snow is an active campaigner. He is President of the Council for British Archaeology, an atheist and a humanist. Snow is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He is also an advocate for political reform. He is the Electoral Reform Society’s first ambassador. He played a central part in the UK Alternative Vote Referendum in 2011, after releasing a successful viral video the campaign used a version of it, featuring Snow, as their final Referendum Broadcast.

In August 2014, Snow was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[16]


Year Work Channel Notes
2002 El Alamein BBC Two 60th anniversary special of the Battle of El Alamein
Co-presented with Peter Snow[8]
2004 Battlefield Britain BBC Two Won - 2004 BAFTA Craft Awards (Visual Effects)[17]
2005 Trafalgar 200 BBC Two Co-presented with Neil Oliver[18]
2006 Shipwreck: Ark Royal BBC One
2007 20th Century Battlefields BBC Two Co-presented with Peter Snow
Edwardian Winners and Losers BBC Four [19]
In Living Memory BBC One [20]
2008 What Britain Earns BBC Two Co-presented with Peter Snow[21]
Britain's Lost World BBC One Co-presented with Kate Humble and Steve Backshall[22]
Hadrian BBC Two
BBC Wales
Won - 2009 BAFTA Cymru (Best Presenter)[23]
50 Things You Need To Know About British History History Channel
My Family At War BBC One [24]
2009 Grouchy Young Men Comedy Central Cameo (pilot only)
Montezuma BBC Two
2010 Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World BBC Two
Battle for North America BBC Two [25]
Little Ships BBC Two [26]
Dan Snow's Norman Walks BBC Four
How the Celts Saved Britain BBC Four [28]
2011 Filthy Cities BBC Two
China's Terracotta Army BBC One [29]
National Treasures Live BBC One
2012 Dig WW2 with Dan Snow BBC One Northern Ireland

History Channel ||

Battle Castles History Channel
Discovery Channel
Rome's Lost Empire BBC One
2013 Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways BBC Two [30]
D Day: The Last Heroes BBC One Two part series
Airport Live BBC Two Originally intended to be one of the presenters, but was unable to because of family reasons. Was involved in pre-recorded clips though.
  • Art in the Trenches, Radio 4
  • At War with Wellington, Radio 4
  • Prince of Wales, Radio 4, a look at the history of the office of Prince of Wales and the current occupant



  • BAFTA (Visual Effects) for 'Battlefield Britain'
  • Sony Award (Best Live Coverage) for Boat Race Day
  • BAFTA Cymru (Best Presenter) for 'Hadrian'
  • Maritime Media Award for best television, film or radio for 'Empire of the Seas'
  • 2011 History Makers Award (Most Innovative Production) for 'Battle for North America' a 1-hour special on Snow's book 'Death or Victory.' Produced by Snow's production company Ballista
  • Voice of the Listener & Viewer Special Award 2013


  1. ^ The One Show
  2. ^ a b "Dan Snow: History Boy". The Independent. 26 July 2008. 
  3. ^ "Balliol College Annual Record 2001". balliol.ox.ac.uk. 
  4. ^ "Dan Snow: The historian who's not attached to the past". The Independent. 2 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Rowing: Cracknell refuses to crack indoors". Daily Telegraph. 27 November 2000. 
  6. ^ "Boat Race crews evenly matched". BBC Sport. 21 March 2001. 
  7. ^ "Cambridge win dramatic Boat Race". BBC Sport. 24 March 2001. 
  8. ^ a b "Battleplan: El Alamein". BBC. 17 October 2002. 
  9. ^ "An audience with Peter and Dan Snow". BBC. 12 November 2007. 
  10. ^ "Spitfire redux: The WWII guns firing after 70 years buried in peat". BBC News. 10 November 2011. 
  11. ^ "Battle Castles Book". Discovery UK. 
  12. ^ Kay, Richard (30 November 2010). "Dan Snow and Duke Of Westminster's daughter wed in secret". The Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Presenter Dan Snow's bid to rescue tourists halted". BBC. 18 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Myers, Rupert (2011-08-09). "A legal guide to citizen's arrest". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  15. ^ "TV presenter Dan Snow 'sat on a looter' in London riot". BBC News UK. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  17. ^ "CRAFT NOMINATIONS 2004". BAFTA. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "BBC TV commemorates Trafalgar 200 with a bang". BBC. 5 October 2005. 
  19. ^ Edwardian Winners and Losers. BBC Four.
  20. ^ In Living Memory. BBC One.
  21. ^ "Telegraph pick: What Britain Earns (BBC2)". Daily Telegraph. 10 January 2008. 
  22. ^ Britain's Lost World. BBC One.
  23. ^ "BBC Wales' 11 Bafta Cymru winners". BBC News. 11 May 2009. 
  24. ^ "My Family at War, Episode 1". BBC One. 2008. 
  25. ^ Battle for North America. BBC Two.
  26. ^ "Last Night's TV: Little Ships, BBC2 / Pulse, BBC3". The Independent. 4 June 2010. 
  27. ^ Dan Snow's Norman Walks. BBC Four.
  28. ^ How the Celts Saved Britain. BBC Four.
  29. ^ China's Terracotta Army. BBC One.
  30. ^ Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways. BBC Two.

External links[edit]